EU urged to work on defence research agency

Europe’s leading aerospace and defence company has urged EU Member States to accelerate research and development projects aimed at establishing a European defence procurement and research agency.

Addressing the European Aeronautic Defence and Space
Company's annual conference in Paris, EADS CEO Philippe Camus
described efforts to set up a European Armaments, Military
Capabilities and Research Agency as "crucial". Mr Camus said EADS
plans to invest 2.3 billion euro of its own funds in research and
development in 2003, and he urged the EU Member States' governments
to follow suit and boost their spending on defence R & D.

Under the umbrella of the European Security and
Defence Policy (ESDP), EU Member States have been working on a new
defence architecture that would include a collective defence
clause, a common defence budget, an Institute of Advanced Defence
Studies and an Armaments, Military Capabilities and Research

European defence cooperation in its entirety was
discussed in detail at a conference of EU defence ministers in Rome
in October 2003 (see

EURACTIV 7 October
)). At the conference, participants also
reviewed progress of the implementation of the Parliament's
resolution of 10 April 2003 on establishing a Defence Research
Agency (see also

The idea is that the new defence research
programmes would be similar to the current Framework Programmes for
research and development, but with a clear military focus.


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